PepsiCo promotes Sub-Saharan CEO to group president
Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo Europe and the Sub Saharan Africa Unit, has been promoted to group president. Laguarta will ‘shape’ PepsiCo's corporate strategy and oversee the food and drinks manufacturer’s global category groups, its global operations and public policy functions.
Operationally, Laguarta will work closely with Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s vice chairman and chief scientific officer, to “drive category innovation and progress against PepsiCo's sustainability goals”. Laguarta will continue to report to president and CEO Indra Nooyi.
Laguarta has worked at PepsiCo for more than 20 years. As the head of PepsiCo’s Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa unit, Laguarta “led the transformation of the company's European product portfolio and significantly strengthened PepsiCo’s position in key growth markets”, the company said.
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Prior to his role as CEO of Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, Laguarta was President of PepsiCo Eastern Europe Region. From 2006 to 2008, he served as Commercial Vice President of Europe and from 2002 to 2006, was General Manager for Iberia Snacks and Juices. Laguarta joined PepsiCo in January 1996.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.